Early Childhood Education and Family Studies: Child Development Career Pathways Certificate

Career Pathway Certificate of Completion mhcc.edu/ChildDevelopment

Faculty Adviser

Yolanda Buenafe: 503-491-7129 | Room ECC106 | Yolanda.Buenafe@mhcc.edu

The Early Childhood Education and Family Studies program prepares students to work with young children and their families in a variety of settings and sets the stage for those who wish to pursue higher levels of education and training. It is a broad-based foundation of theory and practice intended to support both those who have a definite career goal and those who are exploring potential options for working with children and families.

Coursework and practicum experiences emphasize the understanding and application of typical child growth and development theories, positive guidance approaches, high quality interactions and engaging curriculum experiences with children, and fostering development in all domains for children birth to five.

As an open entry program, we welcome students of diverse backgrounds and ages. All students must demonstrate the necessary emotional stability and maturity, the cognitive skills and abilities, and the physical stamina and responsiveness needed by professionals in this field. Students with challenges in any area should consult the program adviser for individual planning.

Students must fulfill all program competencies and expectations with or without accommodations, including those of our practicum courses in classrooms with young children. The number of practicum (co-op) placement sites is limited and students may only enroll in these courses with program faculty permission.

Graduates are prepared to be employed in a variety of capacities including working with children birth to five in early learning programs, assisting with instruction in the primary grades, and advocating for families in education and social service settings.

Program Outcomes

At the completion of this program, students should be able to:

  • Promote learning environments designed to optimize children’s development in all domains
  • Develop positive relationships with families and community
  • Provide a rationale for effective observation, documentation and assessment of children’s development
  • Support Developmentally Appropriate Practices and all relevant guidelines
  • Use content knowledge and inquiry tools to analyze meaningful curriculum
  • Demonstrate an exemplary work ethic and uphold the standards of the profession

The Assistant Teacher program is not financial aid eligible. However, the related degree program, Child Development and Early Education is aid eligible.

Admitted students may log on to Navigate to start the process of building an academic plan based on this major and can notify an adviser for review.

Students must earn a grade of “C” or better in all program (ECE) courses.

ECE125 The Early Childhood Professional

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This course introduces students to the professional expectations of early childhood teachers and caregivers by linking National Association for the Education of Young Children's (NAEYC) policies, standards and code of ethics to our everyday work. The theme of lifelong learner is also used as a structure for students to plan, implement and evaluate their own professional development plans through the Child Development and Early Education program resources.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Apply Child Development and Early Education program content and materials to academic and long term professional goals
  2. Define professionalism in an early childhood context
  3. Explore campus resources to support academic and personal success
  4. List the resources of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC ) that support professional decision-making, e.g. the Code of Ethics, professional articles, etc.

ECE135 Math Concepts in Early Childhood

Credits 3Spring

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

The course focuses on how young children explore math concepts through play. Adult support requires knowledge of how to select and present suitable materials, tools and experiences to set the foundation for later academic learning in this area. The relevant guidelines of both the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) are presented.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Describe NAEYC Position Statement for supporting math learning and development for young children
  2. Identify appropriate materials for math exploration and curriculum experiences for young children
  3. Link basic math concepts to child outcomes

ECE140 Introduction to Early Childhood Education

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This course introduces the foundations of early childhood education, historical and theoretical perspectives, and diverse program models. Topics include developmental stages of children from birth through age six, intentionality in approaches to teaching, and developmentally appropriate, inclusive practices.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Describe historical and theoretical influences on current program models and approaches \\n\\n
  2. Define and describe Developmentally Appropriate Practices \\n\\n
  3. Identify developmental milestones and stages in children from birth to age six\\n\\n
  4. Articulate the importance of inclusive and anti-bias teaching practices

ECE144 Observation Techniques

Credits 2Winter

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels. Students must have ready access to a licensed program for young children and permission to observe individuals. Out-of-class time is required to complete the observation assignments.

This course provides an introduction to typical observation techniques in early childhood programs and prepares students for second-year coursework in individualization. Emphasis is placed on the collection and presentation of objective data regarding children's behavior. Anecdotal recording is the focus.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Discuss the purposes of observation
  2. Distinguish observation from opinion
  3. List a variety of observation strategies that are practical for use in ECE
  4. List guidelines for confidentiality
  5. Prepare anecdotal notes that illustrate significant developmental events in young children

ECE145 Positive Guidance

Credits 3Winter

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This introductory course is designed to familiarize the student with the principles of positive guidance. Early childhood educators must bring a professional set of values and strategies to their classroom work with young children. Direct and indirect techniques for helping children manage behavior and build their social and moral thinking are presented.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate critical thinking in guidance situations to identify relevant elements, prioritize goals and sequence strategies
  2. Describe age-appropriate children's behavior and predictable reactions to common situations in group care
  3. Explain guidance strategies such as discerning individual needs, well-designed routines and transitions, direct and indirect guidance techniques, and how to foresee and forestall common issues
  4. Explain the foundations and principles of positive guidance
  5. Use effective communication techniques such as active listening, empathy, I-messages and appropriate directives

ECE147 Infant/Toddler Caregiving

Credits 3Winter

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

An examination of caregiving techniques for infants and toddlers, with emphasis on group care practices for this age range. The course deals with practical aspects of routines such as nutrition and feeding, diapering, sleep, etc. The importance of supporting attachment and promoting autonomy is discussed. Techniques for individualizing care in a group setting are emphasized. Students explore activity planning as well as patterns of concept and skill development.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Describe how responsive, relationship-based caregiving supports various temperaments, needs, and interests of infants and toddlers
  2. Examine and describe the principles of group care practices for infants and toddlers
  3. Explain the importance of promoting attachment and autonomy
  4. Observe and identify environments and routines that invite infants and toddlers to be active participants
  5. Recognize and describe stages of physical, social-emotional and cognitive growth and development from birth to age 2 and a half

ECE158 Learning Environments

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This course emphasizes the critical role of the learning environment for promoting children's physical, cognitive, and social skills. Topics include defining indoor and outdoor interest areas, developmental stages of play, skill assessment and activities, and materials and strategies to enhance play for young children.

Additional Course Fee: $20.00

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Identify various interests areas of the indoor and outdoor learning environment for children birth to age five
  2. Describe age-appropriate materials and equipment that support children's developing skills and interests
  3. Define stages of play and the value of play for each of the physical, cognitive, and social emotional developmental domains
  4. Identify relevant elements of the environment (such as exploration and provocations) as a learning strategy for young children

ECE166 Seminar - Beginning

Credit 1Winter

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels. Co-requisite: WE280CDC1.

This initial seminar focuses on discussion of issues, concerns and skills such as work ethic, positive guidance strategies and supporting children and other adults in the routines and transitions of an early childhood classroom.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Describe events and issues encountered in coop experiences
  2. Reflect on personal experiences and their implications for successful completion of co-op outcomes

ECE170 Health, Safety and Nutrition

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

Information on licensing requirements and group care needs of young children is provided. Safe and healthy practices, nutritional needs and the unique aspects of group care for children from infancy through preschool age are discussed, including the responsibilities of a mandatory reporter.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Articulate policies and practices relating to the control of infection in a group setting
  2. Describe the nutritional needs of young children
  3. Identify procedures for relaying information as a mandatory reporter in circumstances of suspected abuse or neglect
  4. Identify safety risks and remedies for this age group
  5. List the licensing regulations of the state of Oregon for group care for young children for ratios, appropriate discipline, curriculum and training of staff

ECE171 Families and Diversity

Credits 3Spring

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This course focuses on families as a social system, cultural and structural diversity, values differences, and parenting styles. Anti-bias curriculum and approaches provide a key foundational system for building classroom community and partnering with families.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Define “family” in a variety of inclusive ways
  2. Describe how diverse cultural and familial values contribute to a child's emerging sense of self and identity.
  3. Discuss how to design learning experiences and environments that incorporate an anti-bias approach in the classroom and school setting
  4. Recognize linguistic, cultural, historical, and social influences on inter-relationships between the home, school, and surrounding communities

ECE173 Creative Art Experiences

Credits 3Spring

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

Overview of the importance of sensory and creative art experiences for young children. Students engage with a variety of media as they explore developmentally appropriate processes. Students link creative art activities to children's development in all domains.

Additional Course Fee: $20.00

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Analyze the teacher's role in fostering the creative process in early childhood programs
  2. Describe the creative process for children related to visual arts, movement, and dramatic arts
  3. Examine concepts taught through the creative arts process for various developmental domains
  4. Identify elements of effective creative environments and materials

ECE236 Social/Emotional Development

Credits 3Winter

Registration Requirement: ECE140, ECE144, and ECE145

The importance of establishing relationships and exploring strategies to support children's social/emotional development is the primary focus of this course. Topics include identity, relationship building, fostering prosocial behavior, utilizing positive guidance techniques, and problem solving approaches for challenging behavior.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Develop planned curriculum experiences that foster children's social competence and prosocial behavior
  2. Develop planned curriculum experiences that support children's sense of self and emotional development
  3. Discuss a variety of developmentally appropriate guidance strategies for challenging behavior
  4. Identify the essential elements of positive adult-child relationships

ECE243 Language and Literacy

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: ECE158 and ECE147.

This course provides an overview for supporting language and literacy for children from birth to age five. Topics include identifying typical speech and language milestones in the early years, strategies to promote a literacy rich environment, evaluating age appropriate children's literature, and designing developmentally appropriate curriculum experiences.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Define language and literacy for early childhood as a broad range of activities, methods, processes and skills
  2. Identify the developmental pathways of pre-reading and pre-writing skills
  3. Evaluate a variety of children’s literature and literacy materials for high quality indicators as well as their usefulness for promoting skills such as phonological awareness, sequencing, and rhyme.
  4. Design developmentally appropriate experiences and direct and indirect strategies to support language development

ECE244 Observation and Documentation

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: ECE144, ECE145 and ECE166.

The focus of this course is using observation to individualize curriculum and routines for young children. The student should be familiar with the use of anecdotals and other assessment tools. Child development knowledge, practical classroom experience, and effective basic guidance strategies are enhanced by using observation and assessment to individualize children's experiences.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Explain the value of observation and assessment of children's needs and developmental levels
  2. Use formal and informal observation tools to assess individual development in all domains
  3. Use observation to evaluate curriculum activities, routines, and other group dynamics in an early childhood setting

ECE246 Home/School Relations

Credits 3Spring

Registration Requirement: ECE171.

This course focuses on building and maintaining positive and respectful relationships with family and community members. Students explore role identification, family centered approaches, and collaboration with home/school/community partnerships.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Analyze confidentiality guidelines and other professional boundaries as they relate to families, staff, and communities.
  2. Define and describe multiple lenses to examine family centered approaches
  3. Discuss approaches and strategies to support and engage families in the home/school partnership through respectful, reciprocal relationships
  4. Discuss problem solving strategies and generate possible solutions to home /school challenges
  5. Identify various cultural values and perspectives that influence the home, school, and community dynamics

ECE248 Special Needs and Inclusion

Credits 3Winter

Registration Requirement: ECE140, ECE144, ECE145 and ECE171.

Developmental differences in young children are explored as well as an overview of the philosophy and practical issues of inclusion. The focus is on individual adaptations and collaborations with family members and other professionals. Content topics may include information on specific disabilities as well as educational and community resources for children with special needs.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Analyze a variety of strategies for inclusion and support for children with special needs in an early childhood setting
  2. Describe the role of special education experts and the referral processes
  3. Discuss best practices for collaborating with families regarding inclusion strategies, curriculum modifications, and connecting with community resources
  4. Distinguish normative development from signs of delay or special concerns

ECE258 Curriculum Development

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: ECE158, WE280CDC1, and ECE166.

The principles of developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) serve as the foundation for intentional teaching in early childhood education. Students will use the principles of DAP to explore, design, and evaluate meaningful curriculum experiences that are reflective of children's emerging interests and linked to age appropriate objectives.

Additional Course Fee: $20.00

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Describe the importance of curriculum experiences based on children's interests and play experiences
  2. Use the principles of DAP to plan and evaluate curriculum experiences that support children's development in the various domains
  3. Demonstrate skill in linking learner objectives to the curriculum planning and evaluation/reflection process

ECE260 Values and Issues in Early Childhood Education

Credits 3Winter

Registration Requirement: ECE 145, ECE171, ECE 285

This course explores ethical issues in the profession, using the National Association for the Education of Young Children's (NAEYC) Code of Ethics as a basis for discussion. Professional values as a tool for decision making will be the focus. The importance of advocacy, conflict resolution and problem-solving strategies as well as anti-bias curriculum will be featured.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Describe the significance of advocacy
  2. Develop a philosophy statement as an early childhood professional
  3. Discuss the core principles and values of Early Childhood Education including the Code of Ethics, DAP, anti-bias curriculum and accreditation standards
  4. Prepare materials and resources for career opportunities in the ECE field (i.e., resume, job interview preparedness, etc.)
  5. Use a variety of critical thinking skills and strategies to critique and generate possible resolutions for professional ethical dilemmas

ECE261 Child Development Principles

Credits 4Winter

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, with a "C" or better; or placement above stated levels.

Surveys basic theories and principles of development from the prenatal period to adolescence. Examines various influences on development. The focus includes age-appropriate expectations and the significance of research findings for each stage. Students cannot get credit for both ECE261 and ED261.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Describe physical, social, emotional and cognitive domains of development
  2. Describe the basic principles of growth and development from the prenatal period to adolescence
  3. Explain the major theories of child development
  4. Utilize knowledge of variables that influence development for professional and personal decision making

ECE286 Seminar - Advanced

Credit 1Fall/Winter/Spring

Registration Requirement: ECE166. Concurrent enrollment in WE280CDC2.

This seminar accompanies the advanced level of ECE cooperative education experience. It focuses on discussion of issues, concerns and skills such as developing relationships with children, families and classroom staff, managing routines and transitions and guiding children in classroom activities.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Critique personal experiences and suggest strategies for improvement
  2. Evaluate events and issues encountered in coop and propose problem-solving strategies